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Even if you have a premium fan, you may run into a few situations that leave you wondering, “Why did my fan stop working?” Symptoms include fan blades that spin slowly or have stopped moving entirely. Certain fan repairs require a professional electrician, but you can troubleshoot the common issues with this guide. Stick around to learn how to get airflow back into your home.
If you have the skills and are comfortable accessing the electrical panel in the motor housing, consider using our guide on how to test a fan motor to see if that’s where the problem lies. Reading about what a fan is can also help you understand the primary electrical connections and remote controls that go into each type of fan model. This is because all fans will have different housings and electrical requirements.
Never hesitate to contact a licensed electrician if you’re uncomfortable working with the wiring under your fan’s plastic or metal housing.
That said, if you’re wondering why you can’t feel your fan, it probably isn’t an electrical issue or a bad switch at all. Check out our guide on why fans have 5 blades to understand how important the design of a fan is to airflow and the CFM rating.
Whether you have a pedestal fan or ceiling model, a few common issues can stop your fan from spinning.
Before moving on to more advanced ceiling fan troubleshooting steps, if you’re using a floor, tower, or pedestal fan, ensure it’s plugged into the outlet and turned on. For ceiling fans, make sure it’s powered on at the switch. If everything’s okay there, check your circuit breaker box to ensure you haven’t tripped a breaker.
If there are no issues with the power source, you may have a dead remote control and no longer have adequate power to operate the fan. Replace the batteries in the fan remote, and see if it works.
Wobbly ceiling fans can develop loose connections that affect the power supply to the motor. The electrical wires are underneath the fan assembly, so you’ll need to remove this to ensure the wires are connected. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker first, then check to see if the white, green, and black wires are connected. If not, you’ll need to reconnect them or call a professional.
The average lifespan of a fan motor varies by make and model. A ceiling fan motor should last an average of eight years, while a box fan should last about five years. You can replace a fan motor, but experts usually advise a complete replacement if the motor goes bad.
Turn off the circuit breaker before investigating a ceiling fan issue because you can get seriously injured by the direct electrical power that goes to your fan.
If you allow dirt or dust to collect on your fan, your fan’s bearings can go bad. A worn-out bearing will not move correctly, causing rotation issues for your fan’s blades. You can clean the bearings and use fan lubricant to ensure smooth rotation.
STAT: A 2020 US EIA (Energy Information Agency) survey showed that 78.1% of American homes built between 2000 and 2020 have at least one ceiling fan. (source)